Top 10 Flop Bollywood Films Which Attained Cult Status!

Bollywood churns out hundreds of films every year. Some of these films make money at the box office, while others fail to draw audiences to theaters. But there are some films which are above their box office fate. Here we are talking about those movies which did not earn big moolah at the ticket window at the time of their release, but went onto attain a cult status over the years. We have listed down here top ten flop Bollywood films which attained cult status years after their release.



One of the classiest films from the creative repertoire of veteran film personality Guru Dutt, ‘Kaagaz Ke Pool’ is considered a masterpiece by legions of film enthusiasts and Hindi cinema lovers all over the world. But, much to the amazement of many loyal admirers of the movie, the film was declared a box office disaster upon its release on 2nd January, 1959. Reason? Many people opine that the film was way too ahead of its time and hence could not get its due on its release. However, it has built a fan base of millions over the years and is considered one of the most beautiful creative creations of Hindi cinema. It resurrected as a world cinema cult classic in the 1980s.

‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ revolves around the Hindi film industry and tells the story of the rise and fall of a distinguished filmmaker, Suresh Sinha. The film starred Guru Dutt who was also the director of the movie. Famed actress Waheeda Rehman was seen in the role of his wife. Said to have been inspired by Guru Dutt’s association with renowned filmmaker, Gyan Mukherjee, the film released to negative response. The audience, too, did not like the film and stayed away from it. Soon, the film was discontinued from screens, incurring heavy losses to the makers. Despite starring two brilliant actors like Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman, it failed to garner desired response back then. After the dismal performance of this film, all movies from Guru Dutt’s studio were officially directed by other directors, since Dutt saw his own name as a curse. However, over the years, the audience and critics tried to watch the film with a new perspective and found it quite deep. Today, the film has become one of the most precious gems of Indian cinema.

TRIVIA: After the disappointment the failure of ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’ caused, Guru Dutt stopped directing films. However, he continued to produce films.


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  1. Dear Mohnish,
    Brilliant analysis. Unfortunately these masterpieces did not do great at the box office but they have been crafted by heart and soul by their makers.
    Good job Mohnish, Keep it up.

  2. Are u mad Agneepath made on a lavish budget 28.5 crs ? Till 1993 biggest budget was ROOP KI RANI CHORON KI RAJA an that was 9 crs. Agneepath was made at 6 crs and it was avg movie. Jyst because Amitabh was duped in bofors case , media tried to tag it as flop,.

  3. Waheeda Rahman did not play Guru Dutts wife. She never married or even have an affair with the hero. The relationship was distant but electric.

  4. you missed out many other movies in this list. A few of theese movies dont deserve to be in here. Movies like –

  5. Why do journalists, who have neither watched the classics (or cults in this case) nor were born when the movies being referred to were released, attempt to write such a critical article?

    Some gems, referring to Shaan as a flop and as a cult is nothing but a joke. Shaan, being the next ultra large budget film from the Sippy family after Sholay, had humungous expectations. Of course it didn’t meet Sholay’s superlative stardom, but compared to the films of those times (1980s), it was a major commercial success.

    Let’s take another example, Agneepath. Johar Sr made this garbage of a film, certainly one of the horrific films from Bachchan in that period. Watching it even today gives you the shock on how nonsensical the film was. And yeah, the National award. Just goes to prove how the national awards too can be manipulated.

    Let’s move on. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron? Commercial flop???? Wake up dear critic. It was a super duper hit in 1984. For that genre of film, with those genre of actors (budding and promising pass-outs mostly from FTII), the film generated stupendous returns on investment. Success of film is not measured on the money made by the film, but on the profit percentage the film makes. And Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron made massive profits.

    I can rip apart a few other examples given by the respected critic. But I shall not go on further. I believe that my point is made. Rookie critics must refrain from trying to pretend to know the films and their context by penning such pieces. Pieces that can be ripped apart by anyone double their age and having watched more than double the films, especially the films being referred to on first day first show.


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